No. 5 Clemson to focus on 'effort' vs. Louisiana Tech

·3 min read

Fifth-ranked Clemson attempts to improve its national-best home winning streak to 36 games when it entertains Louisiana Tech Saturday.

The streak is also the longest in school history and no current player has lost at home in their careers.

The Tigers (2-0) opened their season with a 41-10 road victory over Georgia Tech and followed up with a 35-12 home win over FCS program Furman.

Clemson is tied for 20th nationally in scoring defense (11 points per game) and the unit has combined for 19 tackles for loss in two games.

But Tigers coach Dabo Swinney is highly interested in how his offense performs against Louisiana Tech (1-1).

Two blocked punts that created short fields helped Clemson's scoring output look better in the season-opening win over Georgia Tech. And the Tigers totaled 376 offensive yards against Furman.

Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei was a crisp 21-of-27 passing against the Paladins and that prompted Swinney to be pleased over the performance that included 231 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

"I'm just really proud of him," Swinney said of the second-year full-time starter. "I don't think I've ever been more proud of a guy and ain't nobody been more under the fire than him. And two games don't make a season, but it's good to see him go do it, and he's playing really well and I'm really proud of him.

"You want to play quarterback at Clemson, there's a lot that comes with it, good and bad."

Will Shipley leads the rushing attack with 110 yards and four touchdowns. Beaux Collins has been the top wideout with seven receptions for 111 yards and two scores.

Meanwhile, the Paladins totaled 384 yards and quarterback Tyler Huff completed 31 of 40 passes with a variety of throws, including screen passes that exploited Clemson's seven-man front.

That didn't sit well with Swinney.

"Guys weren't ready to play. Period," Swinney said. "We have to show up. That's the No. 1 thing and that's on me to make sure that happens. I'm just disappointed in our effort. I'm disappointed in how we competed. Do your job with relentless effort."

Louisiana Tech opened the season with a 52-24 road loss at Missouri before recovering to rout FCS program Stephen F. Austin 52-17 last Saturday.

Freshman Marquis Crosby rushed for a career-high 197 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. It is the highest output by a Louisiana Tech runner since Kenneth Dixon had 207 yards against Southern Miss during the 2013 campaign.

Crosby had 23 yards on seven carries against Missouri before breaking out in style.

"We knew we could move the ball, so we kept running," Crosby said. "I think the game slowed down for me compared to (the previous) week."

Quarterback Parker McNeil made his first career start and passed for 197 yards and three touchdowns.

"(McNeil) did a nice job of taking the gifts whenever we had them and getting them out to our playmakers and letting those guys make plays," Bulldogs coach Sonny Cumbie said.

Louisiana Tech's defense has struggled, ranking 108th in scoring defense (34.5 points) and 106th in total defense (431.5 yards).

Clemson has won all three matchups with Louisiana Tech. The host Tigers won 51-0 in 2006 in the most recent meeting.

--Field Level Media